Adelaide has its pandas, and now Melbourne has a baby elephant.
Thai elephant Dokkoon (finally) gave birth to a female calf on Saturday after a 22-month pregnancy. Yikes.
The baby weighed in at more than 100kg and staff were delighted to see she was walking within 8 minutes of her birth.
It is the first elephant born to Royal Melbourne Zoo in its 147 year history. The newest member of the zoo is yet to be named.
Nine News Melbourne will air a special on this event this Thursday night at 7pm, presented by Jo Hall. It is expected to air in other states at a later date.
This Thursday at 7.00pm, Channel Nine will broadcast an exceptional program for the whole family, Dokkoon’s Baby.
The Nine News special chronicles the pregnancy of Royal Melbourne Zoo’s Asian elephant Dokkoon that has captured the hearts of a nation.
Hosted by Nine News presenter Jo Hall, the half-hour broadcast takes viewers on a magical journey through the final few months of Dokkoon’s 22-month pregnancy.
Exclusive access granted to Nine News will treat audiences to never-before-seen footage including the birth and first hours of bonding between Dokkoon and her as yet unnamed daughter.
The program also pays tribute to the years of hard work and preparation put in by the dedicated team of keepers, vets and support staff at the Melbourne Zoo, many of whom were part of a 24-hour vigil during the final weeks of the pregnancy.
The world’s leading expert in elephant birthing, Germany’s Dr Thomas Hildebrandt, is on hand at the birth and explains for viewers the labour and delivery process of these remarkable creatures.
Also shown is the complex exercise regime that Dokkoon was put through in order to be fit for the arduous task of giving birth to a baby weighing more than 100kg.
The birth of the baby elephant is part of an international breeding program designed to make the Asian elephant less endangered. It marks the first elephant birth in Australia by artificial insemination; the first ever elephant birth at Melbourne Zoo; and the first female born in Australia.